Alstom’s train plant located in Sorel Tracy will close at the end of the year, due to a shortage of work for nearly 90 employees at the plant.
Taissa Hurricane, a spokeswoman for the French multinational that recently acquired Bombardier’s transportation division, confirmed that workers were interviewed on Wednesday to hear the bad news.
The activities of the plant will be consolidated at the facilities located in San Bruno de Montarville, in Monterrey, and La Bucaterre, in Bas Saint Laurent, which until last January were owned by Bombardier Transport and today operated by Alstom.
The Sorel-Tracy site was primarily used to manufacture the wagons, or Azur rail cars, in the Montreal metro, while the trains themselves came from the La Pocatière factory, as part of the partnership between Bombardier and Alstom. The site has been leased since 2013 by Alstom specifically for this contract, although employees have also been invited to work on transit projects for Toronto and Ottawa.
“Despite many efforts, we were not able to increase the workload, which would have lengthened the expected life cycle of this workshop initially,” said Ms. Hurikai.
About a third of employees have been able to move into other positions so far, while Alstom sees what it can do with others. “We are doing everything we can to replace them, redirecting them to other positions,” the spokesperson said, confirming that 140 positions were currently to be filled at Alstom in Quebec.
Quebec Solidere team member Vincent Marisal was quick to denounce the news. “This is what gives the ‘ethical obligations’ of the multinationals that dedicated our pioneer to get a piece of the pie with the complicity of the #CAQ government,” he said angrily on Twitter.
Last March, the Quebec government unveiled a $56 million loan to Alstom to enable it to operate its La Bocatiere plant. The loan in question will not have to be repaid if the plant retains at least 400 employees from 2022 to 2026 and 350 until the end of 2029.